Dan Cates 5000 Words Part 2

Dan Cates is a true original who has always marched to the beat of a different drum. He loves skateboarding and it loves him back. Needless to say it has found him in some crazy situations over the years and the stories are endless, making him a perfect candidate for this photo feature. Dan has been a friend of the shop for many years and we are stoked to bring you the second part of his 5000 Words with some hand picked visuals focused more on the act of skateboarding itself...

Deep inside the belly of a Madrid metro station, Moggins and Chris Johnson prepare to pay the piper after skating a once in a lifetime natural half pipe. I can’t actually remember, but I’m pretty sure that the three of us eventually ran off and managed to avoid getting busted by that ‘cowboy’ leaning over the railings.

This is Asphalt Skateboard Magazine editor Alexy Lapin’s hotel room in Tallinn during the Simple Sessions contest a few years ago. You can’t actually see Alexy, because in this picture I have trapped him under his own bed, but Alexy, or Comrade Lapin as I like to address him, is one of the weirdest people that I know and I laugh (often at his expense) a lot when ever I see him, which fortunately for him is not that often. I don’t remember what it was that initially caused this chaos, but I think it’s fair to say that Comrade Lapin, being Russian, quite possibly somewhat underestimated British people’s more Keith Richards-esque approach to hotel rooms and their inhabitants on this occasion.

This is me with the black eye that my girlfriend gave me, holding a 12.75” wide board that Simon Woodstock gave me. I’ve got to be honest with you; I was pretty stoked on both!

I don’t think there is any need to explain anything about this image. Coolest kid in the park, Lima, Peru, 2008.

Finally making it to this place was like a dream come true for me. I was literally shaking with excitement when I first walked into the park. The crust levels were off the scale on this forgotten South American gem, which is just the way I like it. “Crust or bust baby.”

A cold but fun night spent in the bottom of the bowl at Worcester Skate Park. I have a lot of photo’s like this one that I have amassed from all over the place and I always get a real kick out of seeing them and being reminded of these precious times when my friends and I got to feel genuinely free on whatever adventure it may have been that we were on. Sleeping in a skate park with just the stars above you and the knowledge that you are doing what you love, with the people that you love, is a great feeling and on this particular mission the crew was tight: Boots, Jake Martinelli, Mikey Patrick and myself, but what’s rad about this image is that I’m being woken up by Chris Johnson bringing us all McDonalds breakfast. Stoked!

“I am certainly no skate photographer and it’s never even crossed my mind to try to be, I don’t even own any flashes”... Is what I tried to tell Jake Snelling (The UK’s most horrible skateboarder) to no avail when he demanded that I take a photo of him doing a street plant on these train tracks some where in the Slovenian countryside. Naturally I had to oblige Jake and so I got on my hands and knees with my trusty SLR and he got to work reeling off every possible street plant variation in the book, one-by-one. At the end of this heated session, where I was apparently expected to capture each street plant perfectly, the exact same way that Grant Britain would have, I show Jake the best of a bad bunch, which happens to be this image of a Gymnast Plant and he turns to me in disgust, informing me that the photo is shit. Sorry Jake.

Chris Johnson Leeds the charge on this perfect Spanish double set and then pays the price in flesh. Or does he? I love the fact that our photographer for this trip wasn’t afraid to get involved. Good times and epic fails.

No points for guessing which guy in this photo was the eager-to-impress new guy on the team. A young Mikey Patrick swims in sewage while his teammates laugh at him from the bank and Rob Shaw and I dig out a full pipe just outside Coventry on an awesome Death summer tour. Love ya Mike, you’re one of my favourites.

Pretty much my only half serious attempt at taking a skate shot is this image of Moggins Bean planting to fakie on a much harder to skate than it looks Soviet relic. You can’t really see Moggins that well, but at least those Dandelions look pretty. Note to self: Must try harder.

Thanks to Dan Cates for putting together these images and stories for us. More 5000 Words queued up for the future so stay tuned...